Knowing, owning, enclosing: a global political economy of intellectual property rights

May, C., 1997. Knowing, owning, enclosing: a global political economy of intellectual property rights. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The thesis is concerned to understand and theorise, what Susan Strange has termed the 'knowledge structure'. However, the author contends that before this perspective can be used, Strange's understanding of knowledge needs to be reworked and a theory of change introduced. Thus, building on and offering an original reformulation of Strange's perspective on structural power in the global political economy, the thesis presents a theoretical apparatus for fully recognising the 'knowledge structure'. This is then used to examine the construction of intellectual property rights (IPRs) as market commodities. The author problematises a fixed notion of knowledge to establish its imprecise and constructed character. Strange posits a major role for what she terms structural power in the global political economy, working through four structures: security, production, finance and knowledge. This perspective is set out and then critiqued. The knowledge structure is reworked extensively and a dual- dialectical theory of change is introduced to provide a framework for the argument of the thesis. The positions which have become prevalent to justify the treatment of aspects of knowledge as property, are then discussed as a site of structural power settlement. This is accomplished through an examination of the political theoretical legitimisation of property, and how these traditions have been used to justify intellectual property. The author argues that the conventionalised construction of intellectual property (rights) is neither self-evident nor un-contested. Given the increasing importance of knowledge (and its commodification) the author suggests that a Global Political Economy of IPRs must first uncover the structural power that has conditioned the way in which these rights have been presented and accorded value. The thesis aims to provide a critical account of IPRs that recognises their importance in the knowledge economy and the problems of an uncritical acceptance of conventional justificatory schema.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: May, C.
Date: 1997
ISBN: 9781369325256
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 Jun 2021 15:46
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2023 15:49

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